Friends,

I will be taking my sabbatical in two six-week segments over the next eight months.

I will be gone from February 7 through March 21, renting a house near Gulf Shores, Alabama, and taking time for rest and renewal, reading and writing, and exploring the deep south of our country (in safe ways, masked and socially distanced!).

I will be taking the other half of my sabbatical from July 19 to August 28. My hope is that I can do some in-person education events and overseas cultural immersion during that time, but that will only become clear as time passes and the Covid-19 vaccinations are distributed.

I give thanks for serving a congregation that recognizes the creative stress and strain of pastoral ministry and offers full-time ordained clergy sabbatical after every 5 years of continuous service. This sabbatical time is offered not as a reward for ministry performed but a renewal to re-equip and strengthen future ministry we do together.

As some of you know, this will be my third attempt to take this sabbatical. In the summer of 2019, in light of Pastor Kathryn’s health situation, I delayed this sabbatical to the summer of 2020. Then, in light of the Pandemic, Pastor Laurie’s start here at the church, and Pastor Nick’s health leave, I delayed it again.

I deeply appreciate Pastor Nick (who will serve as Head of Staff in my absence) and Pastor Laurie for their support and willingness to support my sabbatical time. I look forward to spiritual, physical, intellectual, and mental renewal so that the years together that lie ahead of us can be freshly blessed!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Steve

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